Strong Showing By Pete Buttigieg At Fox News Town Hall

Mayor Pete Buttigieg during Fox News town hall in Claremont, NH (screen capture)

Openly gay Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg had an impressive showing Sunday night as he answered questions at a Fox News town hall event hosted by anchor Chris Wallace.

While most Democratic candidates aren’t heading over to the conservative cable news outlet for coverage, Buttigieg defended the appearance. “If we don’t show up, the conservative media will tell our side of the story for us,” he told Wallace.

The 37-year-old mayor is the third Democratic contender to show up to a Fox News event. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) participated in a Q&A for the conservative cable news outlet in April, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) appeared at a network town hall earlier in May.

Last week, however, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) declined an invitation from Fox News to appear at a similar event.

Across a wide variety of topics, Buttigieg answered questions without pause or having to qualify his responses.

In the aftermath of Alabama’s newly-passed ban on abortion, Buttigieg was asked about the legislation. He answered that he trusts “women to draw the line.”

“I trust women to draw the line when it is their own body,” he said. “I believe that the right of a woman to make her own decisions about her own reproductive health and her own body is a national right, I believe it is an American freedom.”

The decision to have an abortion “is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made,” he added.

Asked how he felt he would handle attacks and tweets from Donald Trump in a general election, Buttigieg replied, “The tweets are…I don’t care.”

The answer spurred a big round of applause from the audience attending the event in Claremont, New Hampshire.

Buttigieg did note that it was “hard for anyone to look away” when the Trumpster tweets, but qualified that saying “it is the nature of grotesque things that you can’t look away.”

“A lot of folks in my party were critical of me even doing this with Fox News,” Buttigieg told Wallace. “And I get where that’s coming from, especially when you see what goes on with some of the opinion hosts on this network.”

“I mean, when you got Tucker Carlson saying that immigrants make American dirty; when you got Laura Ingraham comparing detention centers with children in cages to summer camps—summer camps—then, there is a reason why anyone has to swallow hard and think twice before participating in this media ecosystem,” he continued.

“But, I also believe that even though some of those hosts are not always there in good faith, I think a lot of people tune into this network who do it in good faith,” he concluded.

At the end of the hour-long town hall, Buttigieg was given a chance to address the audience directly. His appeal was met with a standing ovation, surprising Wallace.

The Hill reports the town hall event drew 1.1 million viewers.

The appearance clearly got under the president’s skin as Trump criticized his favorite network via Twitter.

In case you missed the telecast, you can watch the town hall below.

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